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Anvil Live @ The Hifi, Melbourne, Australia

My first foray into the Metal genre happened in the late 70’s.

A cousin emigrated from the USA to Australia and along with him, brought a long a veritable slab of music such as Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, Van Halen et al. I was already a die-hard KISS fan by then and whilst I do realise I am showing my age here – you get the picture.

Move along a few years into the early 80’s, and one’s taste was going for the heavier side of things. Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motorhead and this one band from Canada who were so freaking ahead of their time called Anvil.

Sounding like a cross between classic Ted Nugent and AC/DC with a maniacal charismatic frontman simply called Lips and a drummer who revolutionised the way Metal drummers play to this very day in Robb Reiner.

Heck, you know their tale. You’ve seen ‘Anvil – The Story Of Anvil’. You’ve witnessed their comeback from the brink of sheer obscurity. The rise and fall and the battling rise once again.

And here they were, in Australia.

From the outset, I had no idea there was even a tour on. I found out through my good friends at Melbourne Backline earlier on in the week who also organised passes for me. (Robert, have I told you how much I love you?)

Supporting Anvil were local band Electrik Dynamite. I am very good friends with the band’s lead singer, so we organised an impromptu quick photo session backstage before they went on. (Look for a separate post about that).

By the time Anvil took the stage, the Hifi filled up with punters a little more. The band burst into ‘March Of The Crabs’ from 1982’s brilliant ‘Metal On Metal’ album and before you knew it, Lips was strutting through the crowd playing his guitar surrounded by headbangers! As there was no photo-pit tonight, it was a free-for-all, so I made my way right in front of him and snapped away.

It was a surreal moment for me. As a fledgling drummer back in the day I have clear as mud memories of air-drumming my heart out to this very song, distributing all sorts of punishment to my parent’s sofa – yet now, so many years later – I was photographing Lips playing that very song 1 foot away from me.

I think the grin on his face was probably matched by the one on mine! Fanboy moment lived out to the max boys and girls.

To say that it was a kick ass gig is selling it short. This was an amazing performance that has to be solely judged by the amount of happy and smiling faces throughout the crowd. These guys are fun. These guys enjoy each and every gig they play as they paraded through an assortment of their classic tunes sprinkled in amongst some new ditties.

Lips had the crowd in the palm of his hand and when he wasn’t marching through the crowd or singing into his guitar pickups – he was assaulting his guitar strings with a metallic dildo from hell.

Drummer Robb Reiner was absolutely phenomenal on the drums and I got to witness him playing standing right next to him on stage as I tried to photograph his flailing arms in action. Wow! No one beats the fuck out of their kit like this man does.

All in all, a fantastic gig and one I urge the rest of the dates on this tour to sell out. Do not miss these guys Australia! You’re in for a helluva night!

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